STAFF pilot and two Tasmanian R.A.A.F. trainees were killed on
Friday when their aircraft struck a tree during low-level
bombing practice, and dived into the ground. The crash occurred
10 miles north-east of Werribee, Victoria.
L.A.C. Robert John Cranston (left) and L.A.C. Eric Kenneth
Gilbert of Hobart, who were killed in an air training accident
Werribee (V.) on Friday.
The aircraft was destroyed. Those killed were
Leading Aircraftman John Albert McKenzie (20), unmarried, of
Minlaton, S.A. (pilot).
Leading Aircraftman Robert John Cranston (23), unmarried, of New
Leading Aircraftman Eric Kenneth Gilbert (21), unmarried, of
Eric Kenneth Gilbert was the youngest son of Mr. and Mrs: Fred
He was formerly in the accounts branch of the Government
Printing Office at Hobart. He joined the Militia at the age of
17 and transferred to the Royal Australian Air Force last year.
He received his wings last Easter. He was well known in athletic
circles in Hobart. He played "A" grade cricket for Glenorchy and
was : member of the New Town Football Club's first eighteen. He
was a prominent swimmer and as a member of the Cornelian Bay
Club won the president's cup for a trans-Derwent swim from
Lindisfarne to Cornelian Bay.
L.A.C. Robert John Cranston was the youngest son of Mr. and
Mrs. George B. Cranston. He entered the Government Insurance
Office Hobart, on leaving the Hobart Technical School.
Subsequently he was with the Northern Tyre Service in
Queensland. In Cairns he captained cricket and football teams
and served in the Militia for ll months. He returned to Hobart
lo enlist in the R.A.A.F. and while awaiting call-up about nine
months ago was assistant branch manager of the Goodyear Tyre and
Rubber Co. (Australia) Ltd. He was a close friend of L.A.C.
and like him, also, was a prominent swimmer
with the Cornelian Bay Club. He
grade tennis in Tasmania and "B" grade cricket. He and L.A.C.
enlisted in Hobart on the same day and had been together in the
same training courses They received their wings at the same
A combined service in memory of the airmen will
be held in St. David's Cathedral, Hobart, on Wednesday afternoon
or Thursday morning. The remains will be taken to Tasmania.
THE MERCURY 11 May 1942